Re: [antitrust-policy] An Antitrust Policy for the IETF

Marshall Eubanks <> Sun, 15 January 2012 21:05 UTC

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Date: Sun, 15 Jan 2012 16:05:31 -0500
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From: Marshall Eubanks <>
To: Russ Housley <>
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Subject: Re: [antitrust-policy] An Antitrust Policy for the IETF
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On Sun, Jan 15, 2012 at 3:38 PM, Russ Housley <> wrote:
>> Based on the length of this thread, it is clear to me that more discussion is needed, but I do not think that the IETF mail list is the place to have it.  So, the antitrust-policy mail list has been set up to continue the discussion.
>> It is clear to me that many people are questioning what would go in such a policy.  I have been working on a strawman.  It is short, but it answers the question about what topics would be covered.  I will post that strawman to the antitrust-policy mail list for discussion from two perspectives.  First, does the IETF want to adopt an antitrust policy.  Second, the strawman will provide the basis for a conversation on the content of such a policy if the consensus is that the IETF wants to adopt one.
>> I'll wait a few days so that people have time to join the antitrust-policy mail list before the discussion begins.
> When I announced this mail list, I said that i would post a strawman to answer the question about what such a policy would include.  Here it is.
> Russ
> === === === === ===
> Existing IETF process and procedures were specifically designed to avoid
> problems with antitrust and competition laws.  The IETF has an open
> decision process, explicit rules for intellectual property, and a
> well-defined appeals process.  All of these contribute to the robust
> standards development process used by the IETF.
> Yet, it is worth reminding all IETF participants that all IETF meetings,
> including virtual meetings, shall be conducted in compliance with all
> applicable laws, including antitrust and competition laws.
> Some participants at IETF meetings are undoubtedly employed by
> competitors of the employers of other IETF meeting participants.
> Accordingly, IETF meeting participants are expected to avoid  even
> the appearance of impropriety.
> IETF meeting participants MUST NOT:

Shouldn't this be

    IETF participants MUST NOT, as part of the IETF standards process
(including all meetings and any communications
   covered under the IETF NOTE WELL):

Note that this is both a limitation and an extension of your text.
All we control is what people do in the IETF as part of the IETF
standards process, but there
is more to what we do than just participate in meetings. For example,
people should not discuss prices in IETF mailing lists.

>  - discuss product prices, product profits, internal product cost,
>   bidding, terms of bidding, allocation of customers, division of
>   sales markets, sales territories, or marketing strategies;
>  - condition or discuss conditioning the implementation of an IETF
>   specification on the implementer’s use of products or services from
>   a particular supplier;
>  - discuss agreements to collectively refuse or conditionally refuse to
>   do business with a particular supplier;
>  - suggest any action for the purpose of giving one company or a few
>   companies significant competitive advantage over others;
>  - present or exchange proprietary information; or
>  - share non-public status or substance of ongoing or threatened
>   litigation.
> All IETF meeting participants MUST disclose patents or patent

s/meeting //

for the same reasons as above

> applications reasonably and personally known to them.  Please
> review the IETF IPR rules in RFC 3979.
> IETF meeting participants MAY:

s/meeting //

for the same reasons as above

>  - discuss technical considerations of any proposals, including relative
>   costs to implement, operate, and support them;
>  - discuss licensing costs of essential patent claims associated with
>   different technical approaches;
>  - discuss the likelihood that adoption of a particular technical
>    approach would subject implementers to a greater or lesser risk of
>    patent litigation;
>  - discuss or present broad market potential or market requirements for
>    informational purposes.
> If you observe behavior in violation of these guidelines at an IETF
> meeting, please do not be silent; formally object.

s/meeting/meeting, or in any other communications under the NOTE WELL,/



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